Glossary of Tibetan Terms


Ache Lhamo

The most famous genre of musical drama in Tibet. It is performed by long-established performing troupes and is said to have been invented by Thangton Gyalpo, the famous bridge-builder of the 14th and 15th centuries. The dramas are based on a wide repertoire of moral tales taken from the avadana literature dealing with the laws of karma.
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The representative of the Chinese government in Tibet
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A popular dice game
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Bang So

Mausoleums of kings like the ones of the Yarlung monarchs in Chongye valley
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One of tha Shappe (member of the Tibetan cabinet) who had extensive dealings with the British during their missions to Tibet.
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A stop-over and trading point for travellers near Yatung in southern Tibet close to the important passes northwards and southwards
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Located to the east of Lhasa in the Meldro Gungkar county, Drigung monastery was famous for developing meditational practices. The Drigungpa are one of the eight schools whose practices derive from the teachings of Pakmodrupa Dorje Gyelpo (1110-1170).
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British Mission football team

Football team consisting of British officials and their Sikkimese clerks who played a match against the 'Lhasa United' and several other local teams during the 1936 mission.
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British Missions

Starting with the Younghusband Expedition of 1904, the British sent a number of Missions to Lhasa to negotiate trade and political agreements with the Tibetan government. Sir Charles Bell's Mission of 1920-21 concentrated on establishing close relations between Tibet snd Britain and on modernising the country. The Gould Mission of 1936 occured at a vital point in political exchanges between the Chinese, Tibetans and the British.
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British Trade Agency

The treaty of 1904 negotiated by Francis Younghusband gave the British the right to set up three trade agencies in Tibet. They were located at Gyantse and Yatung (southern Tibet) and at Gartok in western Tibet. The agencies functioned as trading centres as well as sites of political surveillance for the British during the years of theirinvolvement in Tibetan affairs.
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Buriat Lama

Agvan Dorjiev (1853-1938), a lama of the Gelukpa school from the Buriat community of the Trans-Baikal region, played a prominent role in political events in Tibet and Central Asia in the early twentieth century. Trained at the Ganden monastery, he went on to become an important member of the 13th Dalai Lama's entourage. He was known as Tsenzhab Dorje in Tibetan.
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Captain WS Morgan

William Morgan was the doctor for the 1936 British Mission to Lhasa.
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A hill to the south of the Potala Palace carved with over 5000 rock-carvings. It was famous for its medical college built in the 17th century and the monastery (Chakpori Dratsang) affiliated to it.
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A site famous for its ferry crossing across the Tsangpo and for the remains of the iron suspension bridge built by Thangton Gyalpo (1385-1464). Chaksam means 'iron bridge' in Tibetan.
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A ritual Tantric dance performed at various festivals to purge accumulated sins. The one performed by the monks of the Namgye Dratsang (Tse Gutor) is a spectacular example of this masked dance.
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A stop-over point in southern Tibet for British Missions on their way to Lhasa.
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Chang girls'

Tibetan women who served chang (beer) at parties. They were often the servants of Lhasa aristocrats and were popular with British visitors for their party manners and humorous banter.
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A shappe (member of the Tibetab cabinet) who was a major player in Tibetan politics during the times of the various British Missions to Tibet.
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people of the north Tibetan plateau. Their name means 'Northerners' in Tibetan.
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Charles Crawford

Spencer Chapman's companion on his attempt to scale Mount Chomolhari in 1937
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Chipgyu Chenmo

The 'Great Procession' is the Dalai Lama's ceremonial procession from the Potala to his summer palace, the Norbulingka, in the first week of the fourth month.
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The 24 000 feet mountain in southern Tibet on the border with Bhutan scaled by Frederick Spencer Chapman in May 1937.
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Chongye was the capital of the Tibetan kings until Songtsen Gampo established his capital in Lhasa in the 7th century. It contains the tombs of the most famous kings of the Yarlung dynasty.
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A religious structure often consisting of a square foundation, tapering steps leading up to a dome, a stylized parasol at the top above which rests a sphere. However, many types of chortens are to be found in Tibet. Chortens are sites for relics and offerings and are used for entombment of ascetics as well as memorials for the dead.
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Chumbi Valley

A regular stop-over point in Southern Tibet for British Missions going to Lhasa. Chumbi was the scene of intense political and military exchanges between the British, Tibetans and the Chinese during the first decade of the twentieth century. It was occupied by the British for nine months after the hostilities of the Younghusband Expedition of 1904.
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Chumik Thangsang

A nunnery in Gyantse
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The site of a monastery near Chaksam and the residence of the great 14th century bridgemaker Thangton Gyalpo. The Kyichu river joins the Tsangpo at Chushur.
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The wish-fulfilling gem held by Ratnapani, the Bodhisattva of the Dhyani Buddha, Ratnasambhava.
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The Lord of the Cemeteries, acolytes of Yama, God of Death, and represented as skeletal figures. They are regarded as powerful protectors of Buddhist laws.
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Daisy Taring

Daughter of Mary and Jigme Taring
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Darpoling Oracle

One of the chief oracles of Lhasa. Played a central part in the Dzamling Chisang (The Universal Incense-Offering) festival on the 15th day of the fifth month commemorating the founding of Samye monastery.
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Dechen Chokhor

A 13th century hermitage and monastery belonging to the Drukpa Kagyu school in the Gongkar country
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The house in Lhasa lent to the British Mission by Kundeling monastery served as the headquarters of the 1936 British Mission to Lhasa. Dekyilingka translates as the 'Happy Garden'.
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Dele Rabden

A member of a leading aristocratic family from Shigatse in the service of the Panchen Lama who met members of the British Mission of 1936.
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Located between Gyantse and Shigatse, Dongtse was the seat of the Sinchen Lama. The Sinchen Lama in charge of Dongtse in 1882 was responsible for receiving Sarat Chandra Das, the Bengali spy wgo worked for the British government in Tibet. The lama was reportedly executed when Das's real purpose for visiting Lhasa became known to the Tibetan government.
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Doring Thejyi

A Lhasa aristocrat who entertained the British Mission of 1936.
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Dorje Phagmo

Known as the 'Thunderbolt Sow', Dorje Phagmo (an incarnation of the deity Vajravarahi) was the highest ranking female incarnate in Tibet and the only female head of a monastery. Her name refers to a story that suggests that she and her followers could turn themselves into sows at times of danger.
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Dr. AHO O'Malley

Medical officer at Gyantse between 1938 and 1940
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The largest monastic complex in Tibet is located eight kilometres northwest of Lhasa. It was founded in 1416 by Jamyang Choje Tashi Palden (1397-1449). It was one of the three main centres of Gelukpa monastic power with its abbot, the Tripa Khembo, playing a key role in the Tibetan government.
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A category of bonded peasantry in Tibet
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Dasang Damdul Tsarong

Tsensar Namgyal (Tsarong) was the son of an archer in the 13th Dalai Lama's bodyguard who rose to become one of the top Tibetan officials through the 1910s and 1920s. He married into the Tsarong family and took their name. Disgraced in the 1920s, he was nevertheless a pivotal figure in the subsequent period and was a member of the government in the 1930s. When the British Mission of 1936 were in Lhasa they were frequently entertained by the Tsarong family.
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Tibetan for a fortress and/or administrative building usually located on a hill top.
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Dzonggyap Shambe

The 'Gallop Behind the Fort' festival is held on the 26th day of the first Tibetan month featuring a shooting competition between the Yaso's (generals) cavalrymen.
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Situated 45 kilometres from Lhasa, Ganden was famous for the first ever Gelukpa monastery built in Tibet. It houses the tomb of Tsongkhapa, the founder of the Geluk order. Ganden's assembly halls and monastic colleges were arrayed along a hillside and housed several thousand monks. An image of Ganden appeared on Tibetan coins, a fact indicative of its importance in the political life of Tibet.
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The Virtuous School founded in 1409 by Je Tsongkhapa when he set up his school in Ganden. The Gelukpa are also known as the Yellow Hat school. The dominant monastic power in Tibetan Buddhism in contemporary times, Gelukpa monasteries are under the direct centralised control of the Dalai Lama himself and the sect to which most of the Dalai Lamas belonged, including the first, Gedun Drubpa, a disciple of Tsongkhapa. The title of Dalai Lama was confered upon the Sonam Gyatso by the Mongol chief Altan Khan in 1578.
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General Wu

General Wu Chung-hsin was the Chairman of Tibetan and Mongolian Affairs of the Nangking Government during the 1930s and 1940s.
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Situated to the south of Chakpori, the Gesar Lhakhang is a Chinese-style temple built by the Manchu amban in 1792 on behalf of the Qing Emperor to commemorate the defeat of the Gurkhas. It is dedicated to Gesar Khan, one of the great epic heroes of Tibet.
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Masked dancers who are the messengers of fierce deities like Pehar. They perform at the Lugong festival in the second month of the year.
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The ceremonial dress of the Tibetan aristocracy
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A hill behind Lhasa where residents of Lhasa make incense offerings on the 15th day of every month.
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The third largest town in Tibet after Lhasa and Shigatse. Its dzong was built in the 14th-15th century and Gyantse owed its prosperity and importance for being located at the junction of a number of trade and military routes. It is famous for the Palkhor Chode religious complex that includes the spectacular Kumbum. It was chosen as the site for one of the three trade agencies the British set up in Tibet after the events of 1904 and was by far the most important one.
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Gyantse Kumbum

The octagonal stupa at Gyantse consists of 75 chapels containing 10 000 deities arranged in three-dimensional mandalas seeking to encompass the entire Tantric soteriology. Built between 1427 and 1439 by Prince Rabten Kunzang Phak, it is considered a major artistic landmark in Tibetan history.
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Members of the nomadic community from northern Tibet.
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A site near Lhasa containing chorten and inscription pillars (dorings) extensively photographed and studied by Hugh Richardson.
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Jigme Taring

One of the officers given charge of modernising the Tibetan army. He had been educated in St Paul's School in Darjeeling, India.
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Situated at the heart of old Lhasa town, the Jokhang is Tibet's most sacred shrine. Founded by Queen Bhrikuti, the Nepalese consort of King Songtsen Gampo, on the site of the Othang lake, it was completed in 647 CE. It houses a number of important images which are the object of devotion of thousands of Tibetan devotees who come every year to pay their homages. Features very importantly in the New Year celebrations that are visually documented in the photographs taken by Hugh Richardson. Some of these photographs appear on the website but can be seen in more detail in Richardson's Ceremonies of the Lhasa Year. Also see entry on Tsuklhakhang.
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Kalon Lama

He was the ecclesiastical Cabinet Minister in the Tibetan government. The post was held by Jampa Tendar at the time of the 1936 mission.
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Karmashar Oracle

The oracle of the Karmashar Lhakhang in the Barkhor, Lhasa. He prophesises about the condition and future of Tibet during the Curd Feast at Sera monastery on the 30th day of the sixth month.
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Karo La

A pass at 16 800 feet between Ralung and Nangartse on the route to Lhasa from southern Tibet
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White Tibetan silk scarves worn on ceremonial occasions and exchanged with honoured visitors and guests
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Lt Col R Kennedy

Medical officer in Gyantse between 1907 and 1910 and acting Trade Agent in 1909. Accompanied Sir Charles Bell to Lhasa as Medical officer during his mission of 1920-21.
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People of the eastern Tibetan province of Kham
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The Tradruk temple in the Yarlung valley is the oldest geomantic temple in Tibet apart from the Jokhang in Lhasa. Legend attributes its construction to King Songtsen Gampo and it was counted amongst the three holiest temples in Tibet.
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One of Spencer Chapman's assistants on his Chomolhari expedition of 1937. He had already assisted on a German expedition to Nanga Parbat in 1934.
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Kings of the Four Quarters

These representations of the Kings of the Four Directions/Quarters are displayed during the ceremonial procession of Sertreng in the second month of the year.
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A huge banner (displaying the figures of the Buddha and Bodhisattvas) in applique work hoisted on festive occasions, the most spectacular instance being during the Sertreng, the Golden procession of the Assembly of Worship, on the 30th day of the second month, when the Potala was draped with a gigantic Koku banner.
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Kulha Kangri

Mount Kulha Kangri (7554 m) lies on the Tibet- Bhutan border.
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One of the four monasteries in Lhasa associated with the Regent of Tibet with its main chapel dedicated to Tsongkhapa.
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Site 15 miles east of Lhasa famous for its chortens as well as for the Metok Chopa (Flower Offering) festival on the 15th day of the fourth month involving the meeting of a fierce form of Palden Lhamo (the great protectress) and her consort Trip Dzongtsen.
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One of the most dynamic players in Tibetan politics during the 1920s and 1930s. He was imprisoned in the period leading up to the accession of the 14th Dalai Lama in 1940.
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Nobleman from the Palha family and an important player in Tibetan politics during the tenure of Sir Charles Bell. Palha served as Bell's assistant in the 1920s and accompanied him to England in 1915.
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The river theta flows around Lhasa.
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Kyibu Wangdi Norbu (better known as Kyibu) was one one of the four boys who was educated in Rugby School in England between 1913 and 1917.
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Ladakh Lopchak Mission

The triennial mission from Ladakh brought tribute to the Lhasa court in accordance with a treaty of 1683.
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49 kilometres northeast of Lhasa, Lamo is famous for its monastery founded in 1109 by Lume, the chief propagator of the later phase of Buddhism in Tibet.
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The seniormost Shappe (member of the Tibetan cabinet) at the time of the British Mission to Lhasa in 1936
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Lhalu Lhacham

The seniormost female representative of the Lhalu family (descended from the seventh Dalai Lama), wife of Lhalu Shappe, and considered a leading social hostess of Lhasa at the time of the British Mission of 1936. This is apparent from the number of photographs featuring her in the collection.
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Lhalu Mansion

The house used by Colonel Younghusband during his Mission to Lhasa in 1904. It belonged to the Lhalu family, a prominent Lhasa family.
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The capital of Tibet
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Lhasa Lukhang

The Dzonggyab Lukhang temple is dedicated to the lu (serpent spirits)and built on an island in the lake that was created when the Potala Palace was built in the 17th century. It was built by Desi Sangye Gyatso and the Sixth Dalai Lama (1683-1703).
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Lhasa Tsuklhakhang

The most sacred building in Tibet that includes the shrine of the Jo (an image of the Buddha), government offices and numerous other shrines.
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Lhasa United football team

A football team consisting of a Nepali soldier, a Chinese tailor, some Ladakhis and five Tibetan officials who challenged members of the British Mission to football games during their trip to Tibet in 1936.
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A region in southern Tibet that includes the Kuruchu and Sharchu valleys. It is famous for the Kharchu monastery associated with the leading figures of the Nyingma and Kagyu schools.
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Situated at the confluence of three rivers to the north of Lhasa, Lhundup is noted for the suspensions bridges spanning these rivers, one of which was built in the times of the Thangton Gyalpo, the great bridge-builder of medieval Tibet.
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The circumambulatory path encircling the city of Lhasa taking in all the main religious sites of the city. Famous for the painted and carved rocks seen in some of the photographs on the website.
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Lonchen Shatra

The Prime Minister of Tibet during the time Macdonald and Martin were there. He negotiated the Simla treaty with the British in 1913-1914 that drew up the McMahon Line between Tibet and British India.
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Lord Chamberlain, Chikyab Khembo

The supreme head of the ecclesiastical organisation in Tibet and in charge of the Dalai Lama's household. He was also responsible for the maintenance of the Potala Palace and the Lhasa parks.
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An important festival held on the 29th day of the second month that involves driving out the Lugong (scapegoats) to bring luck and fortune to people. The festival involves an important ceremony in which the Nechung Oracle goes into a trance and utters prophecies about the future of Tibet and its people.
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Maharaj Kumar Sidkeong Trulku

He was king of Sikkim during the time Sir Charles Bell was Political officer for Sikkim and Bhutan.
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Major PW Finch

Officer in command of escorting the British at Gyantse during the Gould mission of 1936-7.
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Female itnerant story tellers who use diagrams and painted scrolls to tell their tales.
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Mary Taring (Rinchen Dolma)

The wife of Jigme Taring. She was previously married to Dasang Damdul Tsarong.
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The medical college in Lhasa, a rival to the Chakpori medical college.
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Meru Sarpa College

This college was formerly affiliated to the Shide Dratsang in Lhasa and from 1912 onwards its preceptor became a candidate for the Regency of Tibet. The buildings seen in the photograph were built by Sakya Ngape, abbott of Nechung, in the 19th century.
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Mindroling monastery

A very important monastery, the seat of the Nyingma school
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Minister of Agriculture

At the time of the 1936 British Mission to Tibet the post was held by Kusho Sonam Rabten . The British had extensive social dealings with him during their stay in Lhasa.
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Monlam Chenmo

The Great Prayer festival was introduced by Tsongkhapa, the founder of the Gelukpa sect, in 1409. It involves monks of the main Gelukpa monasteries of Ganden, Sera and Drepung, the main Gelukpa monasteries coming to the Tsuklhakhang in Lhasa to participate in the Great Prayers. The festivities go on until the 25th day of the first month of the year.
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Monlam Torgya

The most elaborate and spectacular event of the New Year celebrations which marks the formal end of the Monlam Chenmo. Various groups of officials arrive to pay homage to the Dalai Lama at the Tsuklhakhang. They then follow a procession of the torma (see separate entry) which is cast out by the Nechung Oracle in a courtyard of the temple.
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A archery competition held in Lhasa on the 27th day of the first month of the year.
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The Sky-dancing Rope Game performed by men who climb a rope to the top of a wooden mast and then lie on a rotating platform
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Situated on the Lhasa-Gyantse road, Nangartse is famous as a trading town. It has a dzong and a monastery.
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Located just to the north of Lhasa, Nechung was the seat of the protector deity Pehar and home to the State Oracle of Tibet.
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Nechung Oracle

The State Oracle of Tibet, who when possessed by Dorje Drakden predicts the future of Tibet as well as plays an integral role in deciding succession. He plays an integral role in the Monlam Chenmo (the Great Prayer festival) during the New Year by going into trance and uttering prognostications for the future. Hugh Richardson had a particularly close relationship with Lobzang Namgye who was the State Oracle during the 1930s and 1940s.
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Ngagchen Rinpoche

A Ta Lama (a class of monks whose prayers are considered to be especially efficacious) and the Panchen Lama's chief agent in Lhasa.
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Ngari Dratsang

The Gelukpa monastery built at the entrance to the On valley by the second Dalai Lama in 1541 to train monks from western Tibet.
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Ngapho Shappe

The Ngapho were a leading aristocratic family of Tibet. Ngapho Shappe (member of the Tibetan cabinet) was governor of Kham when the photograph was taken.
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A 23 000 feet peak to the north of Karo La
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Norbu Yudon

Sister of Pema Dolkar and Mary Taring
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The Summer Palace of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government was selected by the seventh Dalai Lama in the 18th century on account of its medicinal spring. The palace complex was notable for its ornate assembly halls and shrine rooms as well as for its extensive gardens.
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Valley and pass at 16 000 feet between Pede and Chushur on the Gyantse-Lhasa road
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Nyingma sect

The Old School of Tibetan Buddhism founded by Guru Rinpoche in the 8th-9th centuries when he converted the Bon Po priests to Buddhism and established their deities as the protectors of Buddhism.
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Padmaling Tso

A holy lake on the eastern side of the Kulha Kangri mountain in southern Tibet in the Lhodrak region. It is famous for the caves on its banks where Guru Rimpoche is said to have meditated.
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A village in southern Tibet between Gyantse and Shigatse that was the scene of a military engagement between British and Tibetan forces in 1904 during the Younghasband Expedition. It was home to the powerful Palha family who were out of favour with the Tibetan government in 1904. They had helped the British in their advance towards Lhasa.
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Palkhor Chode

The monastic complex at Gyantse. The main temple was built by Prince Rabten Kunzang Phak between 1418 and 1425. He then went on to build the famous Kumbum chorten.
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Pargo Kaling

The western gate into Lhasa marked by a number of large chortens.
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The same as Kalon Lama, the ecclesiatic representative in the Tibetan cabinet. The person photographed is probably Parkhang Gyaltsen Phuntsok who was Kalon Lama between 1925 and 1935.
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An assistant on Spencer Chapman's Chomolhari expedition of 1937
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Peacock Tent

A spectacular tent decorated with applique and silk texttiless was originally probably a gift from the Mongols to the Dalai Lamas. It was set up on ceremonial occasions when the Dalai Lama gave audiences. It was erected outside Lhasa to welcome the present Dalai Lama when he was recognised in 1939.
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Situated on the Yamdrok Tso (lake) in southern Tibet, Pede had a ruined dzong (fort) and was a regular stop-over for British missions on their way up to Lhasa.
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Pema Dolkar

One of Damdul Dasang Tsarong's wives
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A palanquin
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A regular stop-over for British officials travelling from Gangtok to Lhasa. Has a ruined fortress that appears in some of the photographs in the website.
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A village in the Lhundup region on the way to Reting, north of Lhasa
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Yabzhi Phunkhang Kung

Phunkhang is the family name of the 11th Dalai Lama. The title of Kung was given to the fathers or brothers of the reigning Dalai Lama and was translated as 'Duke' by the British. The scans on the website feature the Kung, Phunkhang Tashi Dorji.
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Po region

Region in southeastern Tibet on the Lhasa-Chamdo route.
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Potala Palace

The Potala became the political and spiritual centre of Tibet when the Fifth Dalai Lama built over the older palace of Songtsen Gampo in the 17th century. Known locally as Tse Podrang (“Summit Palace”), its thirteen storeys rising up from the Marpori (Red Hill) dominate the Lhasa cityscape. The palace has been a favourite of photographers as can be easily seen from the many views of the Potala in the website. It was also the site for various festivals and ceremonies taking place in Lhasa all through the year, some of which are documented in the website.
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Prayer Wheels

They consist of a revolving drum containing prayers written on paper. Some are hand-held for personal use whilst others are attached to the walls of monasteries, where many people turn them as a meritorious act.
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Long brass horns blown by priests on ceremonial occasions
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Brother of the queen of Sikkim whom the members of the 1936 British Mission met up with frequently. The Ragashar family traced their ancestry to the religious Kings of Tibet in the 8th and 9th centuries.
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Community responsible for the disposal of human and animal remains. They are ostracised by society and found to live outside the boundaries of towns and villages.
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Norbu Dhondup

He was confidential adviser to the Political Officer of Sikkim, Bhutan and Tibet and held a high post in the Lhasa government. He was educated in Darjeeling, India, and was associated with some of the earliest British expeditions to Tibet as interpreter. He was head clerk at the Gyantse Trade Agency in the early 1910s and subsequently assisted Sir Charles Bell during his trips to Lhasa as well others who travelled to Lhasa in the 1920s and 1930s. At the time of the British Mission to Lhasa in 1936, he had been appointed British Trade Agent at Yatung. He was made Rai Bahadur (an honorary title) by the British.
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The monastery at Ralung is the principal centre of the Drukpa Kagyu school in Tibet. It was founded by Tsangpa Gya-re (1126-1216) in 1180.
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The place of the ferry crossing across the Kyichu, south of Lhasa.
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Stone inscription pillars, one of the most famous being the Sho Doring in Lhasa.
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Jokhang Doring

This doring (inscription pillar) records the 821-822 CE treaty between King Ralpachen (815-841) and T'ang Emperor of China Mu tsung (821-825). It is considered the earliest 'historical' record of Tibet, although Perceval Landon's Lhasarecords the same inscription but ascribes a date of 783 CE to it (pp.295-297). Sir Charles Bell calls it the 'Small Pox Doring' in his entry for the corresponding photograph. The doring is shaded by a very old willow tree that is supposed to have grown from a hair of the Buddha.
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Red Idol Gorge

A spectacular gorge between Phari and Gyantse where a battle was fought between the British and Tibetans in 1904. Noted for the 20 feet high image of the Buddha carved and painted red on the rocks.
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Regent Reting

Reting Rinpoche, the incarnate Lama of Reting, who acted as Regent during the interregnum between the 13th and 14th Dalai Lamas and was a major player in Tibetan politics.
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Reginald Fox

Fox was the Radio officer in Lhasa for the British Mission from 1937 to 1950.
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Kusho Chang Ngopa Rigzin Dorje, better known as Ringang, was one of the first batch of four boys sent to study in Rugby in England in 1913. He was given the task of bringing electricity to Lhasa by the 13th Dalai Lama. At the time of the British Mission of 1936 he was official interpreter to the Tibetan cabinet and held several other posts.
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The ornaments belonging to the Yarlung monarchs kept in the Potala Palace and worn by Tibetan officials during the New Year celebrations. They include huge coral necklaces and turquoise and gold breast plates.
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This town, east of Nangartse on the Lhasa-Gyantse road, is famous for its monastery founded in the 12th century by Khetsun Zhonudrub. The monastery's abbess, Dorje Phagmo, is revered as the highest female incarnation in Tibet.
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Sera monastery was founded in 1419 by Tsongkhapa's disciple Jamchen Choje Sakya Yeshe of Tse Kungthang (1355-1435) and remains one of the most important centres of the Gelukpa sect. The Sera complex has a number of colleges and temples and the famous Chora (Debating Courtyard) and Tsokchen (Assembly Hall).
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Serdung Gelek Doejo

The tomb of the 13th Dalai Lama in Lhasa
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The festivities of the Golden Procession of the Assembly of Worship takes place on the 30th day of the second month. It was instituted by Sangye Gyatso, the Regent to the Fifth Dalai Lama. The festivities consist of various processions of monks and images through Lhasa as well as dance and musical performances. The Koku banner adorns the face of the Potala during this festival.
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Title given to the lay members of the Tibetan cabinet
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The Shide Dratsang (college) is one of the six lhakhang (temples) surrounding the Jokhang in Lhasa. From the 14th century onwards it has been associated with the Reting monastery.
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The second largest town in Tibet and an important trading centre. It was the capital of Tibet in the 16th centry and has served as the residence of the Panchen Lamas.
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Chogye Shinje is the Lord of the Dead and Chief Protector of the Buddhist Faith. He is represented at the Tse Gutor dance performed at the end of the year.
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Sidney Dagg

An officer from the Royal Corps of Signals who accompanied the 1936 British Mission to Lhasa to do wireless work
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Sir Basil Gould

The Political Officer for Sikkim, Bhutan and Tibet who headed the 1936 British Mission to Lhasa. He returned to Tibet 1940 to attend the inauguration of the 14th Dalai Lama and once again in 1944.
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The site at Ramagang consisting of chortens and inscirption pillars (dorings) photographed and studied by Hugh Richardson in the 1940s.
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An historical site in the Lhodrak region famous for its architectural remains.
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Songtsen Gampo

The first Religious King of Tibet from the Yarlung dynasty who ruled between 629 and 650 CE. He remains the most famous of the Tibetan monarchs for having made Tibet one of the most important imperial powers in Asia in the 7th century. He is considered as the first law-giver and responsible for the first dissemination of Buddhism in Tibet. He was also the first Tibetan monarch to rule from Lhasa.
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Dome-shaped relgious structures originally containing the relics of the Buddha or the remains of holy men and women. They are generally seen as memorials to the dead and as markers of important Buddhist sites.
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The seat of the Talung Kagyu school. The monastery was completed in 1228 and is situated in the Jang region of the upper Kyichu valley.
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The auspicious wish-fulfilling horse bearing the Triratna (Three Jewels)
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Panchen/Tashi Lama

The head of the Tashilhunpo monastery. The term Tashi Lama was coined by the British on account of his being head of the Tashilhunpo monastery. An incarnation of the Buddha Amitabha, the Panchen Lama is second in importance only to the Dalai Lama in the ecclesiastical hierarchy of Tibet.
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The monastic seat of the Panchen Lamas on the outskirts of Shigatse town. It was founded by the first Dalai lama, Gendun Drub in 1447 and is one of the four most important Gelukpa monasteries along with Sera, Drepung and Ganden.
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Tethong Shappe (member of the Tibetan cabinet) was Depon (general) in Kham for a long period and had the reputation of being a good warrior before entering the government.
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One of the lhakhangs (temples) in Lhasa
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Silk scroll banners that depict various stories and themes from Buddhist mythology, history and soteriology. The painted image is sewn on to a silk banner and can be made in all shapes and sizes. Some are also woven or embroidered.
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The 13th Dalai Lama

Born Thubten Gyatso in 1876 in southern Tibet, the 13th Dalai Lama was responsible for overseeing a turbulent period in Tibet's history. During his time Tibet was fought over by the Biritsh, Russian and Chinese empires, popularly kown as the Great Game. He went into exile in 1910 when Chinese troops occupied Tibet and came back in 1914 after the demise of the Qing dynasty. He is considered as being responsible for modernising the Tibetan judiciary, army and the monastic order and for opening up Tibet to the currents of modernisation in general.
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The 14th Dalai Lama

The current Dalai Lama was born Tenzin Gyatso in Amdo in 1935. He was recognised in 1935 and installed in 1940. In 1959 he fled Tibet after the Chinese had put down Tibetan nationalistic uprisings. Currently he resides in Macleodgunj, India, which is also the capital of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile.
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Thousand-armed Avalokiteshvara

Known as Chenrezi in Tibetan, the 11-headed, 1000-armed Avalokiteshvara is the Bodhisattva of Compassion, who guides liberated souls to Sukhavati, the heaven of his father Amitabha. He is depicted in numerous Tibetan paintings and statues
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Postmaster General of Tibet

Known as Phopon in Tibetan, he was in charge ensuring the smooth despatch of official correspondence between dzongs and monasteries.
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Drip Chokyong

The protector deity of Tsekholing monastery, south of the Kyichu opposite Lhasa. His image is brought out on a mock horse in a ceremonial procession to Kungthang to meet his consort, Dralha Chenmo Dokham Wangchukma (Great Warrior Deity, the Mighty Mother of the World of Sensual Pleasure) for the Metok Chopa (Flower Offering) ceremony.
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Votive offerings consisting of conical cakes made of dough and butter. They can be mounted on casts made of leather frames of elaborate design. They are ceremonially cast out at festivals since they are supposed to be the repository of all evils. The most elaborate are made for the Monlam Torgya on the 24the day of the first month of the year when they are mounted on frames made of leather.
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Trip La

A mountain range leading to Lhasa from the south and used by herdsmen of Lhasa to graze their animals.
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Tro La

A mountain range in Tibet separating Kham from Central Tibet
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Truptop Lama (Ngapa ascetic)

The photograph in the website depicts a Ngapa ascetic who stress practical meditation and experience over textual monsatic learning.
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The Brahmaputra river as it is known in Tibet
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Tse Gutor

The festival of the Votive Offering on the 29th day of the 12th month of the year. An important part of the festivities involves various ritual dances that take place in the eastern courtyard of the Potala in the presence of the Dalai Lama.
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Tsering Namdruk

The Long Life mantra (prayer)
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Turquoise Bridge (Yuthok Sampa)

One of the entries into Lhasa, so called because of its turquoise-tiled roof. The original structure was built in the seventh century.
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Yabzhi Silon

The prime Minister of Tibet. The post was held by Kunga wangchuk Langdun, nephew of the 13th Dalai Lama, during the 1936 British Mission to Lhasa.
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Yumbu Lhakhang

The castle on the top of Mount Tashitseri at Yumbu is thought to be the oldest building in Tibet. It was built by Nyatri Tsenpo, the first king of Tibet in either 247 or 127 BCE.
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Yamdrok Tso

Yamdrok Tso or the Turquoise Lake situated at a height of 4408 metres in southern Tibet. It is believed that Tibet would not survive if its waters dried up.
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The Mongol title for the commanders of the Tibetan cavalry.
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Known as Dromo in Tibetan. The site for one of the three trade agencies set up the British in Tibet, the others being Gyantse and Gartok. A trading town in Chumbi valley, Yatung was chosen for its strategic location in southern Tibet.
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Site 18 kilometres north of Lhasa famous for its cave hermitages associated with Songtsen Gampo, Padmasambhava and Atisha Dipankara amongst others.
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The village at the foot of Potala hill noted for its dorings (inscription pillars) commemorating various Tibetan victories including one constructed by King Trisong Detsen in honour of General Taktra Lugong who occupied the Chinese capital at Xi'an in 763 CE.
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Foot soldiers based in Shol, Lhasa, supposedly descended from Gushri Khan (the Mongol ruler who held power in Tibet in the 17th century). They were given the task of carrying banners in processions at various festivals or transporting the Dalai Lama's Mongolian-style tent when he travelled.
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